State the main principles of the total physical response Method (TPR)?
Ans. Total physical response is an example of the comprehension approach to language teaching. Methods in the comprehension approach emphasize the importance of listening to language development, and do not require spoken output in the early stages of learning. In total physical response, students are not forced to speak. Instead, teachers wait until students acquire enough language through listening that they start to speak spontaneously. At the beginning stages of instruction students can respond to the instructor in their native language.
While the majority of class time in total physical response is spent on listening comprehension, the ultimate goal of the method is to develop oral fluency. Asher sees developing listening comprehension skills as the most efficient way of developing spoken language skills. Lessons in TPR are organized around grammar, and in particular around the verb. Instructors issue commands based on the verbs and vocabulary to be learned in that lesson. However, the primary focus in lessons is on meaning, which distinguishes TPR from other grammar-based methods such as grammar-translation. Grammar is not explicitly taught, but is learned by induction. Students are expected to subconsciously acquire the grammatical structure of the language through exposure to spoken language input, in addition to decoding the messages in the input to find their meaning. This approach to listening is called code-breaking.
Total physical response is both a teaching technique and a philosophy of language teaching. Teachers do not have to limit themselves to TPR techniques to teach according to the principles of the total physical response method. Because the students are only expected to listen and not to speak, the teacher has the sole responsibility for deciding what input students hear.
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